• Matt B

5 Best Online Course Building Platforms: How To Start Your Own Teaching Business



Starting your own business can be a scary, uncertain process. But teaching business courses can be a lucrative and rewarding one. If you’re ready to take the plunge and teach others, we’ve got some great news for you. There are plenty of great platforms to start your teaching business, and they don’t all involve enrolling in expensive courses. Whether you’re looking to build your brand or start making money, these online course platforms can help you do just that. Read on for more details about the best online course platforms for teaching.


Table of Contents

1. Teachable

2. Thinkific

3. Skillshare

4. Udemy

5. LinkedIn Learning

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links and we may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for yourself.


1. Teachable - Overall Best Teaching Platform

Teachable is a great option if you’re looking to build your brand and sell your courses. This website is all about community, so you can join a dedicated group to chat with other educators and get feedback on your courses. They also have a helpful marketplace where you can sell your courses. One nice feature is that you can enroll in courses on any device, including mobile. So if you’ve ever wanted to learn on the go, this is a great option. Another great feature is their analytics. You can see clear stats on course enrollment and revenue. And they also have a helpful course editor where you can easily create your course.



Pricing:

Teachable has a great selection of pricing options. You can choose from a free plan, which includes access to their course editor and marketplace, or you can choose from paid plans.


The free plan includes:

  • Unlimited students

  • $1 + 10% per transaction

  • Instant payouts

  • Unlimited courses

  • Unlimited coaching services

  • Product bundles

  • Course design templates

  • 1 admin-level users

  • Product support

  • Third-party integrations

  • Basic quizzes

Paid Plans at Teachable start at $39 per month or $29 per month if paid annually for the Basic Plan and include everything in the free plan plus the following:

  • 5% per transaction

  • Instant payouts

  • Members-only community

  • 2 admin-level users

  • Product support

  • Course creator training

  • Custom domain support

  • Coupon codes

  • Drip course content

  • Integrated email marketing

  • Third-party integrations

  • Private student community

The next step up is the Pro Plan for $119 per month or $99 per month if paid annually. The Pro Plan includes everything in the Basic Plan plus the following:

  • No transaction fees

  • Instant payouts

  • 5 admin-level users

  • Priority product support

  • Graded quizzes

  • Advanced reports

  • Unbranded website

  • Course completion certificates

  • Course compliance

  • Integrated affiliate marketing

  • Group coaching calls


2. Thinkific

Thinkific is a great way to track your results and build your business. This service is completely free, and you can access your data from any computer or mobile device. Thinkific provides you with detailed analytics on everything from course retention to payment data. You can also track your courses and your students from start to finish. This allows you to see how your courses are being used and whether or not you’re meeting your students’ needs. You can also use their built-in payment processor to get your students paid.


Pricing:

Thinkific has different plans for every budget.


They have a free plan that includes a limited number of courses but allows you to have unlimited students, 1 site admin per account, easy drag and drop course builder, full ecommerce, easy to use templates, email and phone support, and use of the Thinkific App Store to build best in class apps directly connected to your Thinkific site.


The next plan (and first paid plan) is the Basic Plan for $49 per month or $39 per month if paid annually. This plan includes everything in the free plan plus unlimited courses, students, and content, Live Chat support, a custom domain, the ability to add Coupons and Promotions, Drip (scheduled) content, and One-to-One Student Email.


The next step up to the Basic Plan is the Pro Plan for $99 per month or $79 per month if paid annually. This plan includes everything in the free and basic plans plus 2 site admin accounts, Priority Support, Private & hidden courses, Subscription and Flexible Pricing, Completion Certificates, Live lessons, and Advanced Course Building.


A great positive about Thinkific is that there are no transaction fees. So if you sell a course for $99, you get the full $99.

3. Skillshare

Skillshare is a great way to easily test the waters of teaching for the money. This website is all about collaborative learning, and you can learn from others’ courses and join in discussions with other course creators. You can also create your own courses and share them with a worldwide community of fellow educators. One nice feature here is that you can also use your own photo and video content. This means that you don’t have to rely on third-party providers to get your teaching content out there.



Pricing:

There is no fee to teach a course on Skillshare. Since Skillshare works as a membership program instead of a pay-per-course, there is a royalty percentage pool that is divided amongst the teachers. Skillshare states that each month, 30% of its total membership revenue goes to its teachers. The teachers are paid based on their portion of paid minutes watched by students (both actively paying and free trials) across their platform each month. For example, if one teacher's classes receive 3% of the minutes watched by members, that teacher receives 3% of the royalty pool.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links and we may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for yourself.

4. Udemy

Udemy is a great place to learn new skills and earn some money while doing it. This website is all about sharing knowledge, and you can find a wide range of different courses for beginners to advanced students. Once you’ve found a course that interests you, you can enroll in it from any computer or mobile device. You can also find Udemy courses in apps like Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. You can also use Android or iOS devices to record your instructor voiceover and share it with Udemy. So if you’re looking to make money while you learn new skills, this platform should be near the top of your list.



Pricing:

Udemy states that there is no fee to be an instructor with them. Instructors are paid through revenue sharing which includes two breakdowns:

  • 97% of revenue when a student purchases a course through their own referral link or coupons.

  • 37% of revenue in all other cases such as finding the course directly on Udemy or through a Udemy ad placement.

5. LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning is a great option if you’re looking to build your brand and sell your courses. This website offers courses on a wide range of topics. You can also use your LinkedIn profile to promote your courses. So if you’re looking to get some extra exposure for your teaching content, this is a great option for you. LinkedIn Learning is different in how it compares to the other options mentioned in this article in that you must submit an application and be approved to teach on their platform (similar to Udemy).



Pricing:

There is no fee to teach on LinkedIn Learning. You will receive a portion of royalties based on course watched minutes. Unlike the other platforms mentioned, LinkedIn Learning does offer a royalty advance if you are selected to teach on their platform.


What is the Best Online Course Building Platform?

To answer that question really depends on your audience and your goals. LinkedIn Learning is great if you can get approved. Another great feature is that they give you a Royalty Advance. Udemy is very popular, but competition can be fierce. They add over 50,000 courses per year and you are likely to sell through them directly and take only 37% of your course revenue. Skillshare is a great option also, but you will only receive a portion of the 30% membership revenue split based on watched minutes. LinkedIn Learning and Skillshare are all great options, but keep in mind that these are membership platforms and do not pay per course. Udemy is great also and even though there is no fee to start selling your courses, they will take a large portion of the revenue unless you send your customers directly to Udemy with your links and promos. Teachable and Thinkific are the best in regards to keeping a majority of your course revenue. Thinkific has no transaction fees on any of their plans, but Teachable has less expensive plans to get started with a small transactional percentage. In my experience with bloggers and vloggers, Teachable is more popular and allows you to produce great content at a free or reasonable monthly price and that is why they are my pick for the best overall choice for online course platforms. They also have a plan with no transaction fees. I recommend starting with Teachable's Free or Basic Plan and then moving up to their Pro Plan as your volume increases.


Conclusion

Starting your own online teaching business can be an exciting and rewarding experience. But it can also be daunting, especially if you don’t know where to begin. Luckily, there are plenty of great online course platforms to choose from. From Udemy to Skillshare to Teachable, there’s a platform that’s right for you. Read on for more details about the best online course platforms to start your own teaching business.


Matthew Bates is currently a full-time writer and digital nomad. Matthew started working as a middle school teacher before transitioning into a successful sales career. As a world travel enthusiast, Matthew credits the exciting real-life experiences of traveling and learning from other cultures as the inspiration for his writings.



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